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Australas J Ageing. 2012 Dec;31(4):218-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2011.00574.x. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Painting pictures and playing musical instruments: change in participation and relationship to health in older women.

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Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health, The University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.



To explore how changed participation in painting pictures or playing a musical instrument is related to change in physical and mental health in older women.


Women enrolled in the 1921-1926 birth cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health were surveyed in 2005 and 2008. Changed participation in painting pictures or playing a musical instrument was considered in relation to changes in social activity, social support, health status and health-related quality of life.


Data were available for 5058 women. Improvements in instrumental activities of daily living (odds ratio (OR) 1.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-1.2; P = 0.004) and role limitations due to emotional factors (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.5; P = 0.002) were associated with starting participation. Decline in mental health-related quality of life (OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.3-7.2; P < 0.0001) was associated with stopping.


Changed participation was associated with change in functional capacity and tied to emotional well-being.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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